Monday 27 November 2017

Phantom Spies

Phantom Spies by Dawn Meredith, illustrated by Jae Tanaka (Shining Press) PB RRP $9.50   ISBN – 13: 978-1530305506  ISBN – 101530305500

Reviewed by Wendy Haynes

Meet Oliver and his family the Snatchers. The Snatchers aren’t your ordinary family their cat burglars. By night they infiltrate mansions and steal anything of value. Oliver’s job is to use his computer skills to cut the alarms. He is always nervous and worried that one day they will get caught and end up in gaol. His sister Vera is light on her feet and does acrobatics to get passed the infra-red security beams, while their mum plans the mission, and dad is expert at cracking safes.

This chapter book would appeal to 7-9 year olds, and, with varying sentence length, is action-packed, told in the third person, and deals with making decisions, and knowing right from wrong. Oliver’s best friend is the family Robot Roger: he is the only one he can really confide in about his concerns for his family, and he can’t tell his friends at school. He pleads with his family to stop but no one will listen.

After being caught on their last job they are offered work for a secret government agency PHANTOM, as spies. But, at the government headquarters, Roger is taken from Oliver, and reclaimed as a counter terrorism cyborg. The government has plans for the Snatcher family and prepares them for their first mission. Meanwhile the sinister Professor Withers has secretly altered Roger with his new program. When Roger returns to the family, he is not the same: he is no longer friendly toward Oliver or the rest of the family and is unpredictable.

This book is a page turner and will leave the reading wanting more.

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